Gotham, Episode 7, “The Spirit of the Goat” Broadcast October 27, 2014
Written by Ben Edlund
Directed by TJ Scott
Gotham City, ten years ago, a man stands before a mirror mumbling, “I am the Spirit of the Goat.” He repeats this over and over until donning a homemade black cowl with goat ears and in his best hoarse Christian Bale voice yells, “I am the Spirit of the Goat!” and smashes the mirror. A young woman with a spectacular view of the city is then kidnapped by this person. Outside a decrepit theater, young Harvey Bullock is eager to get inside to save the girl, while his older partner Dix acts like his future self, not wanting to be a hero. Inside they find the woman strung up like a sacrifice. A trap door causes Dix to fall, but Bullock keeps his wits and shoots The Spirit of the Goat, who proclaims, “I will always come back.” As back up arrives, Bullock finds his partner unconscious. Cue title card.
In present day Gotham a woman is strung up on a bridge exactly like a victim of The Spirit of the Goat, and it’s making Bullock uneasy. Not helping is Edward Nygma who tries to entice the detective to solve a riddle he’s written. He stops the man because he says he hates copycats. Bullock wants to know where Boy Scout Jim Gordon is because he’s not there and he’s not answering his phone. James and Barbara are in their apartment arguing. She wants him to talk to her about work so she can “carry half of what he’s carrying.” His buzzing cell gives them pause, and he promises to tell her everything when he gets back. At the docks, Montoya and Allen find a wharf rat who identifies Gordon as the shooter of Cobblepot. “We got him,” Montoya grins. “We got the son of a bitch.” Cue first commercial break.
The plot involving The Spirit of the Goat was a nice step into Bullock’s character, giving some background and providing a peek behind his gruff exterior. However, the killer of the crime was easy to see, simply because of characters involved in that story. I wish it had been a little more difficult to figure out, but once revealed there were some nice moments, such as when the gates opened. Once again, Bruce Wayne, Alfred, and Selina provide nothing for this story, nor for themselves. They exist only to remind the viewer of whom they will evolve into, if this series lasts ten years. All three were wasted. Cobblepot and his mother had some good scenes, with Oswald stealing thunder in a dramatic way. There’s also a lot of Nygma, though he’s just odd, and not creepy. There was a prop that he used that was just too, too obvious.
The good: Dan Hedaya, there can never be too much of him in anything. Carol Kane, for the exact same reason, though she doesn’t really do much in this episode. Getting to see Bullock’s past, and seeing that Gordon is terrific at hand to hand combat.
Fun lines: “You are so odd,” “We don’t ever open the black box,” “I can’t run,” and “Hello.”
The bad: Bruce, Alfred, Selina were wasted, and Selina was overly cat-like in her entrance. What Nygma held was too, too much.
The final line: I’m happy to see that things are progressing quicker than I thought with the mobster storyline, and giving Bullock a past was neat. I just wish that the creators would think that the audience doesn’t need to be reminded each week of whom these characters will become. Overall grade: B-
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!”, he reviewed comics for TrekWeb, and he currently reviews Trek comics at TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for two years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.